Clothes shopping. Two words that can instil about as much dread in more men than not as ‘prostate exam’ or ‘I’m pregnant’. While an absolute joy for some (usually the ones who are annoyingly good at it), it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact reason the seemingly simple task of dressing yourself in fresh clobber can be so unbelievably arduous. Whether it’s the queues, crowds of people, awful shopping centre music, dealing with anybody who works in sales, having to select from a seemingly endless rack of the same thing, or just not having enough time to invest in finding the threads that are the best for you, there’s no denying that it’s a rational fear.
Luckily, Sydney outfit (pun possibly intended) Kent and Lime have the answer to all your wardrobe woes, and it’s as simple as opening a box.
With the intention of taking the hassle out of men’s style, this is a service that deserves a pat on the back not just for removing the once inevitable act of going shopping, but for putting a shirt on your back that’ll actually match your pants. And shoes. Even your socks. That’s the beauty of having your own stylist, everything goes together noticeably better.
It’s important to note that this isn’t some sort of exclusive, executive service for the rich and the famous, this is a service aimed at every bloke from the daggiest Derek whose wardrobe to date has been entirely stocked by his mum to the suavest of gents who know what they want. It’s simple, pain free and the outcome is exactly what it says on the packet, you get a couple of quality outfit options that fit your budget and will make you step out of the house with a tad more confidence, knowing that you’ve taken the brave first step and listened to a professional.
So how does it all work? Simpler than you might think. You jump online to Kent and Lime’s website and set up an account. This takes all of 5-10 minutes, and in that time you’ll answer a raft of simple questions to arm your stylist with as much information as possible. There’s the obvious (waist size, height, shoe size etc, etc) and a few others, like how you would describe your style (if you have no idea, never despair, there’s a button for that too.)
Once you’ve signed up, a stylist gets in touch to arrange a 10 minute phone conversation to help determine what gets put into your box. As much as talking to a stylist might be a scary concept for some, it’s the crucial part of this service that makes it work so damn well, and is entirely painless (I promise.)
Today I’m speaking with Emily, one of five stylists working for Kent and Lime’s rapidly growing customer base. Within a couple of minutes, Emily’s figured out what colours, textures and patterns I’m likely to wear, and checked whether or not I have any no-nos. This part of the chat is great if you know what you like (I’m all about neutral tones, textured fabrics and never wear stripes, checks or knits) but again, is also perfect for those of us who have no idea, never really thought about it or frankly don’t care. I’m asked what I need clothes for, whether I need flexible outfits to mix and match or a distinct uniform style, how I like my clothes to fit, what sort of shoes I wear, how much I normally spend on different garments and if there are any specific things I need (board shorts, socks, blazers; this is a service that ticks a LOT of boxes).
My quick phone chat is done and Emily tells me she’ll put together a kit and send it out within a couple of days. So far, I’ve spent about 15 minutes and zero dollars, all without leaving the house, to get a box of clothes hand selected for me and delivered to my door.
When a courier delivers my Kent and Lime box 48-72 hours later, I open it up with anticipation and instantly notice the attention to detail that makes this not just easier than battling a crowd and dealing with a salesperson, but far more pleasant. There’s a card with a list of my kit’s contents and how much each item costs, accompanied by a short two paragraph letter to me from Emily, who suggests a few different looks I can achieve with what she’s selected, and a friendly reminder that she’s only a call away if needed.
Having clothes hand selected for you by a stylist makes an instantly noticeable difference. Take sizing for example – some brands have different sizes, cuts and fits, so while a robot could have selected three pairs of pants with a waist size I dictated to it, Emily’s sent me different trousers that all actually fit, regardless of what their brand has put on the tag. The same goes for shirts; everything fits like a glove and goes together nicely.
Remembering that thus far all it’s cost is the price of a courier, it’s a very appealing service and hard to think of any downside. The prices listed in my kit (each kit is generally between $800 – $1200 in total value, depending on your pre-determined price range) are all reasonable and no higher than you would expect to pay in any ‘proper store’, I can try everything on in the comfort of my own home, and keep what I like. Anything I don’t want I just pop back in the box and send it back. Emily has my credit card details and will only charge me once we’ve agreed on what I’m keeping – it’s a win win.
A follow up call a few days later to check everything fitted and I am sold – Kent and Lime is officially the most efficient way to deck yourself out top to toe in fresh swag. Whether it’s a question of time constraint or utter loathing that keeps you from the department stores doesn’t matter. No other service not only delivers options to your door, but has them curated to your liking. They even have algorithms set up for repeat customers keeping tabs on what you’ve kept and what you’ve sent back, so they can get better and better at gauging what you like.
All up, it’s a unique service that will save you time and keep you dapper, yet also sane, and that’s a no brainer for this happy customer.